19/03/2018 14:17 SAST | Updated 19/03/2018 14:17 SAST

Life Esidimeni Claimants To Be Paid More Than A Million Each

Retired judge Dikgang Moseneke released the arbitration findings on Monday, revealing the compensation amounts for families of victims of the tragedy.

Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.
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Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke released the Life Esidimeni arbitration findings on Monday, revealing the amount which claimants would be paid in compensation for the deaths of mentally ill patients at unlicensed NGOs. Families of each of the victims of the tragedy will now receive more than R1-million

"This is death and torture of mentally ill patients; it is also a story of the public anguish of the families" – Dikgang Moseneke

The breakdown of the compensation is as follows: R20,000 per victim for funeral costs, R180,000 each in general damages to all claimants, and R1-million each in compensation for breaches of the Constitution and the Mental Health Care Act to all claimants. Compensation must be paid within three months.

At least 144 mentally patients died after being transferred to ill-equipped NGOs in 2016 by the Gauteng health department. According to death certificates, patients died of causes related to starvation and neglect: including hypothermia and dehydration. However, many certificates listed "natural causes" as the cause of death.

Last month the state, Solidarity and Section27 agreed that the families of the patients who died should be compensated.

It seems justice has been served; families of the Life Esidimeni victims were seen hugging and kissing each other after the results of the arbitration were announced. The presiding former deputy chief justice also announced that he would be donating his arbitration fees to law schools.